Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Molasses Spice Cookies

I'd just had a craving for something pumpkin.  I'd had a can of pumpkin just hanging around.  And I love molasses as a sweetener.  So I thought I'd give it a shot.  I'm not into baking a whole lot - it's not that I can't, it just doesn't interest me as much as cooking does.  With cooking, it's pretty easy to experiment and not mess things up.  I don't know quite enough about baking to experiment successfully all the time.  Like the other day, I thought I'd make some blondies with chocolate chips in 'em.  I had a pretty quick, basic brownie recipe that I'd used before and I thought, "Oh, I'll just discard the cocoa powder, make it the same, no problem."  What I didn't think about until they were half way done baking was that it was 1/2 a cup of dry ingredients I just tossed.  And... my blondies came out like chocolate chip cookie soaked in butter for a day.  However... the Pumpkin Molasses Spice Cookie experiment came out awesome!  I'd make these again any day.  I went a little heavy on the spices, because I really like to taste the spice in spiced cookies... if you're not into spice, I guess you could probably just decrease the quantities.

Pumpkin... Halloween... naturally, it brought me to a toss up between The Cramps and The Damned.  But these spicy cookies had way more drive, like The Damned, and so I went with them.  Everyone who knows The Damned knows "New Rose".  Maybe it's just me, but I never get tired of this song, no matter how much I hear it.  It's one of those wake-me-up-in-the-morning songs for me. -jen

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin pure (100% pumpkin)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar, for rolling
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and black pepper.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.  Add the brown sugar, molasses and pumpkin until combined.  Scrape the sides and add the egg, beating until combined.  Slow mixer speed and add the dry ingredients, 1/3 of it at a time, combining well before additions.  Do not over-mix dough.  Dough will be soft and wet.

Spread out two large sheets of plastic wrap and divide the dough in half, one half on each sheet.  Fold up tight and freeze for 30-45 minutes, until firm, or refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Place sugar into shallow dish.  Roll dough into 1.5-2" diameter balls.  Roll balls into sugar to coat, and place onto cookie sheet, 2-3" apart.  Using the bottom of a glass, press dough balls into 1/4-1/2" thick cookies.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12-14 minutes until tops feel set and edges are starting to brown.  Remove from oven and slide parchment paper and cookies onto a cooling rack for about 5 minutes.

Makes 30-35 cookies.

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